President Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., hosting faculty at Westwood for the President’s Colloquia

Each colloquium was scheduled from 4-6 p.m. and included a lecture followed by a wine and hors d’oeuvre reception.

Past Colloquia

Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Jennifer Neville“Machine Learning Methods for Predictive Modeling in Online Social Networks”

Jennifer Neville, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Statistics

The recent popularity of online social networks has increased the amount of data available about users’ behavior, including current activities and interactions among friends and family. Dr. Neville explains how this rich relational information can be useful for predicting user interests and preferences, as birds of a feather do indeed flock together; however, new machine learning methods are needed to fully exploit the “big data” in these domains.


Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Alan Beck“The Importance of Animal Companionship”

Alan Beck, Dorothy N. McAllister Professor of Animal Ecology

People can be protected from the ravages of loneliness through animal companionship. All indications are that companion animals play the role of a family member, often a member with the most desired attributes. Dr. Beck explains the mechanisms by which animal companionship impacts both human and animal health.


Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014

Ephraim Fischback“Catastrophic Solar Storms: Can We Predict Them and Why Do We Care?”

Ephraim Fischbach, Professor of Physics

Dr. Fischbach explores why a massive solar storm could lead to millions of deaths and trillions of dollars in damage to infrastructure. He will also discuss how an accidental discovery made in his laboratory might allow us to predict such storms in sufficient time to take precautionary measures.


Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015

Lance Duerfahrd“How Do Images Impact Us?”

Lance Duerfahrd, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Film and Video Studies Program

Join Dr. Duerfahrd in a discussion of visual literacy using street photographs, war photographs, and stills from Casablanca and a low-budget B movie. Images can make us think and act differently and stick inexplicably in our minds — without our being able to say precisely how. Dr. Duerfahrd will discuss what photography and cinema tell us about our world and about ourselves, as well as how to develop a personal rapport with images beyond the selfie.


Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015

Rafael Land“The Hunt for Dark Matter”

Rafael Lang, Assistant Professor of Physics

There is much more to the universe than meets the eye. Dark matter, in particular, makes up most of the mass in the universe. Join Dr. Lang as he explores the science and mystery behind dark matter.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jon Wilker“Adhesives at the Beach”

Jon Wilker, Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Wilker examines why shellfish stick themselves to rocks and what people can do with those same types of glues. Find out how those adhesives could replace sutures.



If you have any questions, please contact Robin D. French at 765-494-9708 or


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